TAN Legal Panel Provides Insight on Key Topics for Nonsubscribers
In the latest installment of the TAN 2022 Webinar Series, the legal panel shared information about issues, cases, and rulings of interest to members. Following are brief summaries of the presentations from the webinar. To view the webinar in its entirety, you may click here. Password for viewing is TAN2022.
Edward Johnson, Mayer LLP
Topic: Trend of COVID-related cases in light of the passage of the Pandemic Liability Protection Act (PLPA).
Despite initial fears, only a very small number of cases have been filed statewide against nonsubscribers related to claims that workers contracted COVID-19 on the job. Johnson discussed several cases filed against nonsubscribing beef producers, chicken producers and nursing homes. He noted that while several cases are pending in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on jurisdictional issues, several others have been dismissed because the plaintiff failed to plead or show that the reliable scientific evidence indicated that that the plaintiff contracted COVID in the workplace and/or that the employer knowingly failed to warn of or remediate a condition which caused an employee to contract COVID-19 as required by the PLPA.
Takeaway: The passage of the PLPA has been instrumental in dissuading plaintiffs from filing lawsuits against their employers related to their contraction of COVID-19.
Jerry Fazio, Owen & Fazio, P.C.
Topic: Grant v. Arrow Personnel & WTEC, a case involving an employee from a nonsubscribing temporary agency who was injured at his temporary jobsite.
Fazio’s client, Arrow, is a nonsubscribing staffing company that leases out temporary employees to WTEC, a subscriber. Grant was injured at WTEC’s place of business, but instead of filing for workers’ compensation, he sued both Arrow and WTEC. The defendants both moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted both motions and dismissed the cases entirely. Grant appealed; a ruling has not yet been issued.
Takeaway: The court doesn’t look at labels; what puts forth the legal duty, such as the duty to provide a safe workplace, is the right to control the work and the details.
Bernie Hauder, Adkerson, Hauder & Bezney
Topic: Court of Appeals decision reverses trial court’s denial of employer’s Motion to Compel Arbitration.
Hauder discussed a case he argued where an employee had signed an arbitration agreement. The employee filed suit, 6 depositions were taken and an agreed scheduling order with a jury trial date was entered into. Defendant then filed a motion to compel arbitration, which the trial court denied. At the court of appeals, the plaintiff argued the agreement was illusory because the modification/cancellation provision in the arbitration agreement said any modification/cancellation did not apply to any claim that was already submitted or filed, which excepted a claim that had occurred but wasn’t submitted or filed. The court of appeals held the employee waived the argument by not raising in the trial court, but also said it wasn’t illusory. The plaintiff also argued that entering into the agreed scheduling order was a modification of the arbitration agreement. The court of appeals held that because there was nothing in the scheduling order that said the employer was giving up its right to arbitration, there was no waiver and no modification of the arbitration agreement.
Takeaway: If you have an arbitration agreement that has a modification provision, review it to make sure the modification applies prospectively to all claims, and not retroactively to some claims.
Donna Peavler, PeavlerBriscoe
Topic: Strategies for defending cases in which the plaintiff waives recovery of economic damages.
Many plaintiffs are choosing to waive claims for medical expenses when their past medical expenses are low and are instead seeking only noneconomic damages (e.g., mental anguish, pain and suffering, and impairment). Plaintiffs do this to avoid giving the impression that the injuries weren’t serious, and to prevent the jury from tethering the amount of noneconomic damages to a low number, should the jury use a multiplier of medical expenses as a formula for awarding noneconomic damages.
Takeaway: In these cases, consider attempting to enter the medical billing affidavits into evidence during the defense’s case in chief. The Texas Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the admissibility of medical expenses in these cases, but several prior opinions suggest this evidence will likely be evidence, since the Court has consistently held the jury must be given some basis for calculating damages and cannot simply be asked to just “fill in the blank.”
Robert Estrada, Blanco Ordoñez Mata & Wechsler, P.C.
Topic: Duties owed by an employer for a safe workplace, and employers’ potential liability when mass shootings occur.
In addition to the typical duties to provide a safe workplace that an employer owes its employees, under certain circumstances employers owe a duty for the criminal conduct of a third party. To impose liability on a defendant for negligence in failing to prevent the criminal conduct of another, the facts must show both that the defendant committed negligent acts and that it knew or should have known that, because of its acts, the crime or one like it might occur. Estrada shared elements employers should include in a safety plan. Employers should also consider developing an active shooter emergency response policy.
Takeaway: Establishing safety measures to prevent incidents and safety plans for when they do happen are crucial to ensure employee safety and prevent potential liability that may arise.
United Supermarkets Wins Parking Lot Case: Small Divot in Pavement Not Unreasonably Dangerous
The Texas Association of Nonsubscribers participates as an amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” in certain cases that concern our members. One such matter is United Supermarkets, LLC v. McIntire. In this case, a woman sued TAN member United Supermarkets when, while exiting her vehicle, the heel of her shoe landed in a small divot in a store parking lot and she fell, breaking one ankle and the other foot. The essence of United’s defense at trial was that the divot in question was tiny, less than an inch deep, and that such “hazards” are commonplace and not “unreasonably dangerous” (property owners generally are only liable if they fail to warn or protect invitees against unreasonably dangerous conditions). Indeed, a United Supermarkets employee had noticed the divot during a routine survey of the parking lot and deemed it so small as not to need further attention.
United Supermarkets prevailed at the district court, where it was granted summary judgment, but an appeals court overturned the summary judgment. United then filed an appeal with the Texas Supreme Court. On Friday, June 17, the court issued a per curium (i.e., unanimous) opinion that reinstated the judgment of the trial court. Texas’ highest court agreed with United Supermarkets that the small divot in the parking lot was not “unreasonably dangerous,” despite the plaintiff’s expert report to the contrary. The court noted that “some particularly innocuous or commonplace hazards are not unreasonably dangerous as a matter of law,” and found the defect at issue (which measured less than one inch deep) was, in fact, “profoundly ordinary.” It observed that “[t]iny surface defects in pavement are ubiquitous and naturally occurring,” and that because invitees know this, they therefore “use caution when exiting their vehicles.” To expect otherwise, the court went on to say, would impose too costly a burden on property owners.
The court expressly declined to make a broad ruling on whether any divots or potholes in a parking lot can be unreasonably dangerous. One can certainly imagine situations where they are. But in this case, at least, common sense prevailed. TAN is proud to have participated as an amicus, and congratulates United Supermarkets and its counsel, Donna C. Peavler of the Dallas-based PeavlerBriscoe law firm. It further thanks Doyle & Seelbach for authoring the amicus brief on behalf of TAN and TAN member Dallas Market Center.
DWC Releases Update on COVID-19 Claims
Insurance carriers reported 83,451 COVID-19-related workers’ compensation claims and 448 fatalities in Texas through the beginning of the pandemic to May 1, 2022, according to the latest data from the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation. Slightly more than half of these claims (51%) and the fatalities (55%) involve first responders and correctional officers.
The greatest number of COVID-19 claims were reported in January 2022, followed by July 2020, December 2020 and August 2021.
Nearly two-thirds (66%) of the claims involved employees who tested positive or were diagnosed with COVID-19. Insurance carriers accepted more than half (58%) of COVID-19 positive test claims. Despite more than 21,000 denials of COVID-19 claims with positive tests or diagnoses, only 184 disputes had been filed with DWC as of May 1, 2022.
Slightly more than a third of all claims (28,847, or 35%) had medical or indemnity benefit payments, and 65% did not. Among those with medical or indemnity benefits payments, 4,844 (17%) were paid with both medical and indemnity benefits, 4,517 (16%) had only medical benefits, and 19,486 (68%) had only indemnity benefits.
Using DWC’s administrative data as of May 10, 2022, for the claims reported to insurance carriers as of March 31, 2022, insurance carriers paid $40.6 million in medical costs on COVID-19 claims. Of those payments, $31.8 million (78%) was for hospital/facility services, $7.9 million (20%) for professional services, and $850,664 (2%) for pharmacy services.
Insurance carriers and employers paid about $73.4 million in indemnity benefits on COVID-19 claims, $42.7 million (58%) in employee salary continuation, $27.3 million (37%) in workers’ compensation income benefits, $2.9 million (4%) in death benefits, and $364,816 (1%) in burial benefits.
Zoom Calls in the Kitchen: Creating Employee Connectedness in the Post-COVID Workplace
The COVID-19 pandemic may be ebbing, but its effects on American society continue to be felt. One result of the “lockdown” precautions taken by many businesses early on in the pandemic, when employees were required to stay away from the office, is a lingering preference for workers to do their jobs at home rather than at the workplace. Indeed, the availability of remote work options is widely recognized as an employee retention issue in today’s economy.
Not all employers see this as a good thing. Entrepreneur Elon Musk, for example, recently reiterated a desire for employees of Tesla to spend at least 40 hours per week at the office. Those who disagree with the policy, he later added, can “pretend to work somewhere else.” But other employers are more comfortable with remote work, and indeed have encouraged it as an option for employees. And increasingly, employees are choosing to make what was once a novelty a more or less permanent arrangement.
According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, there are several reasons why people are working from home. The most important one is simply that workers prefer it. Some find that they’re more productive at home. Other reasons include fear of exposure to COVID in the workplace, childcare duties that are easier handled when working from home, and the fact that the worker moved further away from his or her workplace during the pandemic. Not shown on the poll, which was conducted in January of 2022, is the rising price of commuting. Gas prices are up over 50% since May of last year, making the drive to work and back a much more expensive proposition than it was before the pandemic began.
But not all employees prefer to work where they sleep. Among the reasons listed by workers who go to the office, rather than stay at home, are an unspecified preference for being on-site, a feeling that they are more productive in the office than they are at home, insufficient space or resources to work at home, and better opportunities for advancement when working in the office.
The biggest drawback to working at home identified by employees is a lack of connection with their colleagues. Traditional water cooler conversations and office birthday parties aren’t always efficient uses of employee time, but they do foster corporate loyalty and morale. For employers who want to accommodate their workers’ desires to remain at home, experts say it’s important to build corporate camaraderie outside of the office. Off-site get-togethers and virtual team-building exercises can be useful. But another method may be simpler: Periodically reaching out to employees to talk on a personal basis, to check on how they’re doing and what they need or want, can help employees remember that though they’re working remotely, they’re still connected to a larger enterprise. Being in it together shouldn’t have to feel like going it alone.
Managing Customer Hostility Post-COVID and in the Current Economy
In February 2022, the federal government eased its COVID-19 pandemic recommendations for wearing masks, physically distancing, and taking other precautions, leaving that decision up to store owners, office managers, and other non-health-care sector employers. Many states had already lifted or barred mask mandates entirely.
As a result, while customers today often feel as though life is returning to pre-pandemic norms, they are also dealing with inflation, continued problems with availability of products, and a shortage of service-industry staff, all of which can lead to stressful interactions with employees.
At the same time, employees may still find themselves having to enforce their employer’s COVID protection policies, at times leading to increased tension, overt hostility, yelling, and even physical violence between staff and customers. This comes on top of the routine situations employees face when a customer is upset over a product or the service they received.
A recent study of grocery store workers by the University of Arizona found that continual interaction with potentially hostile customers led to high levels of anxiety, depression and distress. The study reported that employees feeling a lack of employer support in dealing with hostile customers added to the problem.
According to Alicia Grandey, a professor at Penn State University, “Employers need to be letting employees know as a first step that they have their backs, that they will not tolerate customers who are abusive. … The customer is not always right, and when they are abusive, the employee has the right to say, ‘I will not be treated like that, and this conversation is over,’ and not be penalized for it.”
Grandey recommends that employers check in with their forward-facing employees on the kinds of customer interactions they are having, offer training in how to deal with various hostile situations, and discuss the strategies that work and don’t work.
Larger businesses should also have standardized procedures for reporting and tracking hostile interactions with customers. This can help keep employee training up to date and guide the company in devising methods to proactively diffuse tense situations and reduce customer and employee stress.
These are steps your employees can take when dealing with hostile customers:
- Remain calm when a customer becomes rude or angry.
- Don’t take it personally — the customer is upset about the product or service, not the employee.
- Listen patiently and give the customer time to let their feelings be known.
- Actively sympathize with how the customer is feeling.
- Apologize gracefully, whether the customer’s complaint has merit or not.
- Ask what solution will satisfy the customer and look for a way to achieve it.
- If possible, take a few minutes afterward to destress.
Managing Safety Blind Spots
Employers should take nothing for granted to create safe workplaces, including focusing on areas that may not typically command attention but are worth monitoring. Mastery Training Services, a provider of workplace safety training courses, offers these suggestions for safety “blind spots.”
Organizations should have a fire response and evacuation plan with steps clearly laid out. Every employee should know their responsibilities in case of an emergency. In some workplaces, those plans will include fighting fires with handheld extinguishers. OSHA requires employers to train the relevant personnel in the safe operation of the equipment, and periodically inspect and recharge the extinguishers. All workplaces should have clear exits and pathways out of danger.
Workplaces should have the right supplies on hand to treat minor injuries. In conditions without professional medical care nearby, at least one person on duty at any given time should be ready to perform first aid tasks. In cases where there are notable hazards, such as bloodborne pathogens, workers need to learn how to guard against these risk factors. Training should focus on preparing employees to administer first aid without putting themselves at risk.
Blocked, defective or difficult-to-open doors can become a hazard in any situation in which evacuation is necessary. Exit doors must be clearly labeled and able to open from the inside while the building is occupied. There must be exits other than revolving, sliding or overhead doors to ensure a smooth evacuation. In cases where an exit leads into a street or alley, there should be barriers and caution signs to ensure employees don’t immediately put themselves in danger when they leave the building.
Eating areas, restrooms and other specialized areas within offices must be kept to high standards of health and safety. Workplaces should provide an acceptable number of toilets and sinks and keep these clean to prevent health issues from occurring.
Many Older Workers Returning to Work as Pandemic Fades, May Be Higher Risk for Injury
Many older workers exited the workforce during the pandemic, but recent data indicate some of the workers who “retired” have returned. According to March 2022 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 3.2% of workers who retired last year are back at work. These and other older workers, regardless of whether they left the workforce, are at a heightened risk of musculoskeletal injuries and the effects of aging’s natural degeneration of the body.
A recent blog post from Woodruff Sawyer, one of the largest insurance brokerage and consulting firms in the United States, notes this return is a good time to remind employers how to help keep older workers safe.
Because older workers are prone to low-back stiffness, Woodruff Sawyer recommends employees who must manually lift objects be trained to keep the object close to their body, remove obstacles between the object and body, and avoid extended reaching and bending during lifting. Breaks for stretching can reduce cumulative trauma injuries and the risk of aggravating pre-existing conditions such as arthritis and diabetes.
Employers may use fit-for-duty testing during the hiring process to ensure candidates are physically capable of performing the job. This type of testing checks candidates’ ability to lift, stand, reach and perform other physical activities, and is typically conducted after an employment offer has been made. Check with your legal counsel to make sure you are compliant.
Formal job descriptions should include a detailed explanation of body mechanics and physical demands required for each position. Train employees to handle objects with minimal impact to the areas of the body most vulnerable to injury. Supervisors should monitor employee behavior and provide feedback when necessary.
Workplace footwear should be slip-resistant and designed for standing on any hard surfaces in the work environment. When used in conjunction with proper footwear, anti-fatigue mats help reduce compression forces to the lower back, knees and ankles.
Protecting Workers During Texas Heat
If it seems like it’s hotter than ever in Texas, just wait. A recent report from a team of Texas A&M researchers found the number of 100-degree days in Texas has more than doubled over the past 40 years — and could nearly double again by 2036. This extra heat requires employers to be aware of the danger of extreme heat or work in hot environments, which places workers at risk of heat stress.
Workers at greater risk include those who are 65 or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.
Heat stress can be caused by more than simple higher temperatures. Two heat sources contribute to the risk of heat-related illness: environmental heat produced by warm or hot surroundings, and metabolic heat, which is generated by the body and related to workload (physical activity).
Environmental heat is more than just temperature. Factors that affect environmental heat include:
- Air temperature.
- Humidity: High relative humidity makes it difficult for the body to cool itself through sweating.
- Radiant heat from sunlight or artificial heat sources such as furnaces.
- Air movement: In most situations, wind helps workers cool off.
OSHA recommends employers use a wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) monitor to measure workplace environmental heat. WBGT devices contain a dry bulb thermometer to measure ambient air temperature, a wet bulb thermometer to measure the potential for evaporative cooling, and a black globe thermometer to measure radiant heat. The WBGT instrument should be placed close to the work location. For example, if the work is in direct sunlight, then the WBGT instrument should be in the sun.
The report from the A&M researchers was funded by Texas 2036, a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy organization, and is available here.
OSHA information on recognizing and avoiding heat stress is available here.
Survey Sheds Light on Distracted Driving Reasons
Two recent surveys from a major insurer reveal a third of business executives expect employees to answer their cell phones even when driving, a practice that puts organizations at risk of workers’ compensation claims if an employee is injured on the job while driving distracted.
Such expectations may contribute to the 42% of respondents who say they take work-related calls, texts or emails while driving.
The findings are contained in the 2022 Travelers Risk Index, released in March.
According to the surveys, workers who said they accept work calls, texts and emails while driving do so for the following reasons:
- 43% said the call might be a work-related emergency.
- 39% said they feel they need to always be available.
- 19% said they believe ignoring a call would upset their supervisor.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises motorists do the following to avoid distracted driving:
- Pull over and park in a safe location when expecting a call/text message or you need to make/send one.
- Ask a passenger to respond to calls or text messages on your behalf.
- Avoid social media use while driving.
- If necessary, activate the “do not disturb” feature on your phone, or place the device in the trunk, glove box or back seat of your vehicle until you reach your destination.
- Speak up when seeing someone using a phone while driving; 87% of the survey respondents said they’d be more likely to end a call if a passenger said something.
Thrive and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Mobilize Top Business Leaders to Reaffirm Commitment to Employee Mental Health and Well-being
In a full-page ad in The New York Times today, Thrive, the behavior change technology company founded by Arianna Huffington, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), have brought together over 80 companies to sign a pledge committing to continue prioritizing the mental health and well-being of their employees through the uncertain times that lie ahead. Click here for full article.
The New York Times
You Can Get COVID Again. Here’s What to Know About Reinfection.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who have already had Covid-19, you may be wondering how long you will have immunity from the coronavirus. Earlier in the pandemic, most people assumed that getting infected had at least one upside: that you would be protected against future encounters with the virus. Click here for full article.
This COVID Wave Might be the Start of our ‘New Normal, Experts Say – Here’s What You Need to Know
Packed indoor events and fully booked flights where masks are few and far between suggest that the pandemic is a distant, unpleasant memory. Click here for full article.
Americans Are Washing Their Hands Less Often than at Start of Pandemic
Handwashing is a fundamental way to avoid germs. When the pandemic started in 2020, it came with many uncertainties. But one thing we did know was to wash our hands. Now in the third year of the pandemic, many Americans’ handwashing frequency has changed. Click here for full article.
A New Test Can Help Reveal If You’re Immune to COVID-19
How much protection do you currently have against COVID-19? The answer depends on so much: whether you’ve already had COVID-19 (and if so, how long ago); whether you’ve been vaccinated (and if so, how many times, and how recently); whether you have any medical conditions that could weaken your immune system; and so on. Click here for full article.
You Are Going to Get COVID Again … And Again … And Again
Two and a half years and billions of estimated infections into this pandemic, SARS-CoV-2’s visit has clearly turned into a permanent stay. Experts knew from early on that, for almost everyone, infection with this coronavirus would be inevitable. Click here for full article.
NIH Funded Large Trials to see if COVID Patients could Benefit from Ivermectin. They didn’t, Early Data Shows.
Preliminary results from a trial funded by the National Institutes of Health adds to a mountain of evidence showing ivermectin is not effective at treating COVID-19. Click here for full article.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Post–COVID Conditions Among Adult COVID-19 Survivors Aged 18–64 and ≥65 Years — United States, March 2020–November 2021
As more persons are exposed to and infected by SARS-CoV-2, reports of patients who experience persistent symptoms or organ dysfunction after acute COVID-19 and develop post-COVID conditions have increased. Click here for full article.
Texas Division of Workers’ Comp Seeks Comments on Designated Doctor Rules
The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) informed workers’ comp system participants this week of proposals for a second set of amendments to 28 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 127, Designated Doctor Procedures and Requirements, and 28 TAC Section 180.23 to improve the designated doctor (DD) program. Click here for full article.
Report: Ibuprofen Now Most Heavily Used Drug in California Workers’ Comp
New data shows the types of drugs used to treat injured workers in California, and the distribution of payments for those medications, has shifted over the past decade, with opioids becoming far less prevalent and anti-inflammatory drugs accounting for an increasing share of the prescriptions and the total drug spend within the workers’ comp system. Click here for full article.
Iowa Court: Carrier Ineligible For Retroactive Reimbursement on Mistaken Workers’ Comp Claim
An Iowa workers’ compensation insurance carrier is not entitled to retroactive reimbursement from another insurer for benefits it paid in error, the state Supreme Court ruled this month. Click here for full article.
The Salt Lake Tribune
He Worked to Clean up Sites Contaminated with Uranium in San Juan County. When He got Sick, it Took Years to get Compensation.
Just over the rise from Moren Binale’s house on the northern edge of the Navajo Nation lies a gray aberration atop the eroded red rock landscape: a flat-topped mound of river cobble and gravel more than half a mile across. Click here for full article.
Justices Overturn Washington Workers’ Compensation Law on a Strict Reading of Intergovernmental Immunity
The Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously struck down a Washington state law that was aimed at helping federal contract employees get workers’ compensation for diseases arising from cleaning up nuclear waste. Click here for full article.
Supreme Court Overturns Washington Workers’ Compensation Law
The US Supreme Court unanimously overturned a Washington state workers’ compensation law designed for federal contractors working at a nuclear waste site, rejecting arguments that the challenge is moot because of a new measure the legislature passed while the dispute was pending. Click here for full article.
When Are Workers Off the Clock for Compensation Claims?
HVAC contractors are looking for ways to improve employee morale and foster company culture. One way many do that is by allowing technicians to take their work vehicles home with them. This minimizes drive time, a major factor in job satisfaction for technicians, and saves on fuel costs. Click here for full article.
Lawyers and Settlements
Does Workers Compensation Cover Heart Attack?
Many Americans, particularly those with heart conditions, have good reason to ask whether they are eligible for Worker’s Compensation if they suffer a heart attack at work. Heart attacks are normally covered by state workers’ compensation laws but there are often many factors involved and you may wonder if a heart attack or stroke qualifies for worker’s comp. Click here for full article.
Cision PR Newswire
New Insurance Claims Data Analysis Helps Commercial Businesses Mitigate Common Causes
In recognition of National Safety Month, Acuity Insurance, the sole regional insurance provider rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s with over $6 billion in assets, is releasing data on its top commercial claims to aid businesses in better understanding opportunities to improve safety. Click here for full article.
Business Community Criticizes Workers’ Compensation Legislation
Legislation that supporters say is intended to benefit injured workers is facing stiff opposition from the business community, which is arguing small businesses would be pushed to the brink by the change to a tenet of the once-heralded 2007 workers’ compensation reforms passed under former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Click here for full article.
Improving Outcomes: PTSD in the Workplace
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) claims can be particularly tricky due to the shifting nature of the diagnosis. Greater awareness around mental health is helpful, but there are several factors that greatly impact a patient’s outcome. The challenge with PTSD claims is in identifying the circumstances that could lead up to a future diagnosis. Click here for full article.
Business Insurance America
NCCI Releases Report on Workers’ Comp Legislation
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has released a report focusing on three important topics in the workers’ compensation sector – independent contractors and the gig economy, single-payer health insurance, and the legalization of marijuana. Click here for full article.
New Workers’ Compensation Scam Begins With Note From Bogus Friend
Have you ever daydreamed about receiving a sudden windfall? You aren’t alone and scammers know it. In this new trick, scammers are using Facebook to con people into thinking they have thousands of dollars in unclaimed workers’ compensation, according to recent BBB Scam Tracker reports. Click here for full article.
The National Law Review
U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Medical Cannabis Workers’ Compensation Case
On Tuesday, June 21, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States denied two similar petitions arising out of Minnesota cases in which injured workers sought reimbursement for medical marijuana to treat their work-related injuries. Click here for full article.
New Hampshire Allows Exception to Workers’ Compensation ‘Coming and Going’ Rule
A worker who was injured in a car accident when he was traveling home from his job site in the middle, rather than the end, of the workday at the direction of his employer is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, according to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Click here for full article.
Claims Frequency Up for 2021, but Workers’ Comp Profitability ‘Unprecedented’
For the first time in more than a decade, workers’ compensation claims frequency, outside of COVID-19 illness claims, increased in the United States last year. Click here for full article.
‘Pay-As-You-Go’ Workers’ Compensation MGA Hourly Raises $27 Million
Workers’ compensation insurtech Hourly has raised $27 million in a series A seed round. The platform lets employers with hourly workers run payroll, track time and attendance, and manage workers’ compensation insurance premiums in one place in real time. Click here for full article.
A Look at OSHA’s Top 10 Safety Violations
Workers’ compensation claims can result directly from worksite conditions, whether in construction, manufacturing, distribution, office or other environments. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tracks violations of safety and health standards, which can lead to workers’ comp claims. Click here for full article.
Workers Compensation Catastrophes: Past, Present, and Future
Catastrophes in insurance are generally associated with large losses that occur in the property lines of business, such as from natural disasters. However, the workers compensation (WC) industry is not immune to the impacts of extraordinary loss events. COVID-19 has generated renewed interest in NCCI’s treatment of catastrophic losses in its ratemaking process. Click here for full article.
W. R. Berkley Launches Enterprise Risk Solutions Firm
W. R. Berkley has announced the formation of Berkley Enterprise Risk Solutions, a new business focusing on providing workers’ compensation insurance to large businesses headquartered in California. Click here for full article.
Service Lloyds Enhances Workers’ Compensation Underwriting with Gradient AI
Gradient AI, a leading enterprise software provider of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in the insurance industry announced today that Service Lloyds Insurance Company has adopted its solution to better predict risk and improve the pricing accuracy of workers’ compensation policies. Click here for full article.